Sai Yoshiko: sound of the seventies

18 04 2017

Cult 1974 album from the then-twenty year old Japanese “acid folk” singer.

Dusit Thani bites the dust; Bangkok closes for renovation

9 03 2017


A Bangkok landmark, the modernist Dusit Thani flagship hotel in Silom, will be demolished next year according to an announcement from its owners earlier this week. Its site will become a large mall, office and hotel development. The Dusit Thani leaves behind the Indra Regent in Pratunam, behind an unlovely tangle of telephone wires, as perhaps the last of the great Bangkok modernist hotels (with the prickly facade of the Srifueang building, just down from the Dusit Thani on Rama IV, as another notable 1960s tower).

Hopefully these buildings will survive the massive construction going on around the Thai capital. Across Rama IV boulevard, by Lumphini park, the site currently occupied by a carnival funfair will soon become a massive city-within-a-city mixed use development, much like Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills or Midtown. It is to be called Bangkok City One. Meanwhile, the old Robinson’s department store across from the Dusit Thani on Saladaeng has also been empty for some time, awaiting flashy redevelopment plans.

And as if that is not enough, the vast and glittering ICON SIAM mall will open riverside later this year, complete with Takashimaya department store, museum, condos and perhaps a privately funded skytrain extension, while blueprints have been drawn up for a massive Bangkok Mall, to be the city’s biggest, topped with a water park in Bangna.

Exactly where this flush of construction money is coming from, and why this is all happening now, is a bit of a mystery to me but for better or worse, Bangkok in 2021 will seem quite different from the city we know now.

Drifting Classroom

14 01 2017

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My boyfriend recently turned me on to “The Drifting Classroom” after it was referenced, tongue-in-cheek, in an tabloid news report on a school food poisoning case. The classic 1970s Japanese horror comic tells the story of a school mysteriously transported to another dimension, pitching students, teachers and caretakers into a Lord of the Flies-like battle for survival in the face of plague outbreaks and other horrors. It is pulpy, violent … and I’m loving it.


Form/ function

4 01 2017


The brightly tiled lower walls of a traditional Aussie pub are not only attractive to look at, but easily hosed down – after being thrown up on!

Old-fashioned with a twist

4 01 2017

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Tucked away in the leafy well-t0-do suburb of Canterbury, and little-visited by outsiders, is the determinedly quaint Maling Road. This well-preserved stretch of early Victorian shophouses culminates in a cafe in the old post office and, around the corner, one of Melbourne’s most glorious surprises: the Egyptian revival Freemason’s hall.



5 12 2016


Low-key weekend

4 12 2016


It was a low-key weekend this week, dinner with a friend on the backstreets of Wanchai around Stone Nullah Lane, work on Saturday, and then a film at the French Festival (Planetarium, pretty but pointless) in the gloriously 1960s City Hall Theatre. This was accompanied by dinner at Mak Mak with a delicious dessert of rice balls in warm salted coconut milk – yum!


Sunday was hazily white, with clear Winter sunshine streaming over the Lamma strait, and we lounged on the couch watching Project Runway, with homemade oatmeal with Earl Grey soy milk and avocado, plans for a hike unfulfilled. Sometimes you just have to take it easy 😉


Below: the preternaturally pretty Lily Rose Depp, who starred in Planetarium: